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On Tuesday, Tim McGraw and Faith Hill were presented with the Legends of Live Award at the annual Billboard Touring Conference taking place in Beverly Hills. The Grammy winners shared a kiss as they accepted their honors and sat down with Soul2Soul tour promoter Louis Messina, CEO of Messina Touring Group, for a discussion moderated by Billboard’s West Coast editor Melinda Newman.
The Legends of Live Award recognized the couple’s 2017 Soul2Soul: The World Tour that concluded its first leg on Oct. 27 at Barclays Center in New York. McGraw and Hill’s three Soul2Soul tours began in 2000 and have earned $350 million.
“We come from Louisiana and Mississippi, from hard-working families. We absolutely do not forget what it means to spend money on a ticket and go out and see a show,” Hill said of the cost associated with seeing the married couple live.
“We do realize it is an expensive ticket, but we knew when we went into this what we wanted to provide,” McGraw added. “We wanted to make sure you got your money’s worth. We try to be as economical as we can when we put our tickets out there.”
Messina, who worked on the first and third Soul2Soul tours, said, “This is a great show, and night after night it never ceases to amaze me. It is one of the best shows that has ever been on the road.”
During the discussion, Newman inquired about how the beloved country couple keeps the passion alive onstage even on nights when they don’t see eye to eye.
“There have been shows we weren’t quite on the same page,” McGraw said. “But it all goes away when we come up through those risers and look at each other and start singing. The band kicks up and we look at each other and give that sort of wry smile. We’re very fortunate.”
The Soul2Soul tour will continue in May, but the third iteration of their joint tour was hardly a sure thing. With three daughters, McGraw and Hill, who both turned 50 this year, were concerned about family schedules when discussing another joint tour.
McGraw told the audience, “We didn’t know if we were ever going to get a chance to do this. But we knew if we wanted to do it, we wanted to do it the right way with the right people. All the right people came together.”
Added Hill: “It all has to do with timing and the right team. We talked with Louis over the years, and everything just kind of worked out at the right time.”
Messina added that for the couple’s first tour together since 2007, they wanted to play “not only across the country, but all the places they missed.”
The highly successful tour has not only reached new places for the duo, but has brought new talent with them. For each city of Soul2Soul: The World Tour, McGraw and Hill has introduced a new supporting act.
“There were a lot of artists that had maybe a single or two out, that we dug and researched,” Hill said. “We thought it was an incredible idea because both of us have been given that slot. I remember my first slot. It was with Reba McEntire and I thought I was going to die the moment I walked onstage. We’re big fans of up-and-coming artists, and it’s a great way to support them.”
The Soul2Soul 2000 tour featured Keith Urban as an opening act, and Taylor Swift opened several shows for the couple in 2007. The latest tour has welcomed Brothers Osborne, Rachel Platten and Margo Price.
Prior to the 2018 dates, fans can also catch the tour documentary Tim & Faith: Soul2Soul on Showtime, which bows Friday at 9 p.m. ET/PT on-air, on demand and over the internet. The doc’s premiere coincides with the couple’s first duets album, The Rest of Our Life, which is being released the same day.
This story first appeared on Billboard.com.
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